It’s been a couple of weeks with the new Windows 8 computer, and while the relationship between us remains a bit tense, at least we aren’t fighting with each other quite as frequently anymore.
Let’s just say I do sympathize with people complaining about Windows 8. Admittedly, day to day, you don’t have to poke around in the bowels of the OS that much, and otherwise it’s not that much different than Windows 7—at least in desktop mode. And it does seem to start more quickly, which is nice.
But when you first setting up a computer, all you’re doing is poking around in the bowels of the OS, and the fact that everything has changed there just makes all those non-fun tasks that much more frustrating. So you do develop this initial, and growing, hatred for Windows 8 as you run through a series of Google searches such as:
How do I map a network drive in Windows 8?
Where is the Control Panel in Windows 8? (Actually, I didn’t figure that one out! I just installed the Star 8 app to put it back in its Windows 7 place on the new computer!)
How do you select which speaker to use in Windows 8?
How do you shut down a Windows 8 computer?
Yes, shut down. I mean, seriously. Microsoft put the Shut down command in the Settings menu, three clicks deep. I’ve now realized that my PC manufacturer added a one-click taskbar menu with Shut Down and Restart options. Yay! But they shouldn’t have had to. That’s just terrible UI design for a super-basic, very frequently used feature.
Put the pointer in the bottom-right corner of the screen to get the side menu displayed, click Settings [and, oh look, there‘s the Control Panel], click Power, and there is Shut down! Nice and inconvenient.
And why the heck doesn’t the ESC key let you out of those “app” windows? That’s exactly what that key is supposed to be for!
Instead, you have to click the right Windows key to get out. This is not a usability improvement!
Mind you, I do make things tough on myself because—I’ve realized—I don’t seem to like the default settings on anything, which means I have a lot of tweaking to do on new computers—something normal people (with lives?) don’t bother with.
And, I now have things mostly working, except for ongoing troubles with my display settings. They’re pretty much set as want them. I’ve made peace with the opaque title bars. I still think they’re kind of ugly, but I do find myself entertained by the fact they change colors with my desktop background to match it better. I also like that you can display different desktop background images on each monitor.
So my only issue now, really, is that the computer keeps losing these settings. Whenever it goes to sleep, I “awaken” it to find, for example, that the resolution is all out of whack, and all the desktop shortcuts are a weird size—or have all moved on to my big-screen TV! Rebooting usually fixes things, but not always completely. To be fair, I’m not sure if this really a Windows 8 issue, or more of a hardware problem. All I know is, my old computer never did that…
I’m managing, for now, by greatly extending how long the computer waits before going to sleep. Longer term, we have a much better display driver from an older computer that we’ll probably install in this one (because, as mentioned, I’m not a fan of the defaults), to see if that helps.